Ben Horsley, Ben Horsley, Granite School Dist
Taylorsville Mayor Russ Wall attempts to land while a Granite Technical Institute student watches.

Mayor Russ Wall from Taylorsville, almost crashed his plane. In the end, he only had a rough landing. Fortunately, he was only flying in an aviation simulator at the Granite Technical Institute (GTI). Graduating seniors provided several local Mayors the opportunity to tour the facility and learn more about the 50-plus technical and career focused certifications available at the GTI, including aviation training.

The Mayor's received the personal tour on Thursday morning as part of an opportunity to recognize students from their municipalities who would not only be graduating from high school, but are also receiving technical certifications in fields such as nursing, bio-manufacturing, pharmacology, 3-D animation, dental assisting, pre-engineering and more.

Over 3,000 students from local high schools participate in the programs available at the GTI in its 5-story location off of I-80 and State Street.The programs are focused to align core academic subjects with career and technical educational offerings that promote real-world application for students. Instead of simply learning algebraic formulas in a classroom, these students are using those same formulas to create and develop 3-D computer engineered objects and structures.

"The high school experience has changed dramatically in the last few years," said Mayor Mike Winder from West Valley City. "I was amazed at the depth of high-tech offerings available to these students."

While some students will walk out of the doors of the GTI with an EMT or Dental Assisting certification, others have enough coursework and training to immediately start working with local businesses in clean rooms and lab space that is shared with those companies on-site. GTI's partnerships allow local businesses "incubator space," to develop patents and other experimental products in science and medical related industries, which in turn provides students advanced job opportunities and has spawned bio-engineering and bio-manufacturing degrees at local universities.

"We want students to not have to slow down when they come into a classroom." said Superintendent Martin Bates. "We are striving to provide an individualized educational experience that doesn't just give kids a diploma, but gets them on track for a career."

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